A STAFF REPORT
THE GOSHEN NEWS
A football adage says it’s not how you start — it’s how you finish.
That’s been especially true of the Wawasee Warriors in 2012.
Wawasee struggled early in the season, atarting out 2-4.
But the Warriors caught fire at midseason, and will enter next Friday night’s Class 4A Sectional 11 sectional championship game at Concord winners of their last five. Their latest victim was NLC foe NorthWood, who came to Syracuse and lost to the Warriors, 31-28 in the sectional semifinals.
Two keys to the Warriors’ success in 2012 have been two of the youngest players on the Wawasee roster: Sophomore quarterback Gage reinhard, who completed 12-of-22 passes Friday night for 186 yards, two TDs and two interceptions; and sophomore wide receiver Clayton Cook, who caught three passes for big yards Fruday night — 120 yards and a pair of TDs
Cook said the Warriors had something to prove Friday night against NorthWood, which defeated Wawasee, 35 21 on Wawasee’s home field Sept. 14.
The Warriors also have unfinished business with Concord, which defeated the Warriors, 54-7 in Dunlap Sept. 7.
“We’re looking forward to playing them again,” Cook said.
Next Friday, the Concord Minutemen will host the Wawasee Warriors in the Class 4A, Sectional 11 title game.
It will be Concord’s fourth straight appearance in a sectional title contest. A year ago, the Minutemen lost 26-13 to NorthWood, Concord defeated South Bend Clay 28-21 in 2010 and lost to Lowell 60-23 in 2009.
Wawasee will be playing its first title contest since the 2004 season when the Warriors finished the season as the Class 4A state runner-up.
The Concord-Northridge game took just a little over two hours as neither team used a time out during the contest. This just one week after the Minutemen played a game of more than three hours at East Noble.
Concord was ahead 35-0 by halftime, giving Concord coach Tim Dawson the luxury of pulling many of the starters and playing second- or third-team kids the rest of the way.
Quarterback was one position worth noting as Dawson used four different signal callers. Junior Trevor Wilmore started and played the first half. Senior Ryan McKibbin started the second and played several series before being relieved by sophomore Cullen Fisher and sophomore Danny McMahon.
“One of our goals was playing a lot of kids,” Dawson said. “Most of the regulars didn’t play in the second half.”
Northridge used only one quarterback, but had three different players attempt passes. Junior signal caller Tanner Love attempted 14, sophomore Payton Carson five and sophomore Cameron Ridenour one.
The Minutemen not only used four quarterbacks, the team used a wide variety of ball carriers.
Concord rushed the ball 33 times split among 11 players. Senior DuWhan Alford was high with six, followed by Wilmore and junior Larry Smith both five and sophomore Jared Emmack four.
Perhaps the Jimtown Jimmies burned up too much electricity putting 55 points on the scoreboard in Friday’s win over the Whitko Wildcats.
The lights at Knepp Field in Baugo Township went out with 6:40 left to play when it was reported that a transformer in the area blew.
The Jimmies were leading 27-0 in the second quarter before putting the game away with a pair of touchdowns in the final 30 seconds.
Senior Devan Emerson scored on a 7-yard run.
On Whitko’s next play from scrimmage sophomore Marquis Schieber intercepted a pass and returned the ball to the W-15.
Jimtown then went to the pass as senior quarterback Brody Olson connected with classmate Evan Oblinger on a 15-yard scoring pass to increase the Jimmie lead to 41-0.